Philip D. Snodgrass

Philip D. Snodgrass was an assistant general counsel at the National Federation of Federal Employees.
Philip D. Snodgrass was an assistant general counsel at the National Federation of Federal Employees.(Baltimore Sun)

Philip D. Snodgrass, who was an assistant general counsel at the National Federation of Federal Employees and a 2005 graduate of Dulaney High School, was killed Monday in downtown Washington when he was hit by a speeding motorist.

He was 27 and lived in Washington.


Mr. Snodgrass was walking to classes at Georgetown University Law Center when an SUV traveling at high speed struck him, according to court documents. He was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died a half-hour later.

The driver, James Brooks Chandler, 33, of Silver Spring was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and charged with second-degree murder.

"Phil was very smart and he was great to talk to about anything, whether it was legal issues, politics, current events or pop culture. He was just a good conversationalist about anything," said Stefan P. Sutich, general counsel at the National Federation of Federal Employees.

"He was thorough as a writer, and it was great bouncing ideas off of him," said Mr. Sutich. "He was living life to the fullest, and what happened to Phil is just unexplainable."

"The thing that was most evident for everyone was how incredibly intelligent and smart Phil was. He was also incredibly ambitious when it came to his career, and this was no small feat," said Drew S. Halunen, communications director for the National Federation of Federal Employees. "He was quick-witted, had a fantastic sense of humor, and everyone in the office got along with Phil."

"The thing that people remember about Phil was his infectious spirit and always being the life of the party. He was passionate about everything and loved his family and friends," said his friend Glenn M. Paetow, who lives in Minneapolis, where he is an emergency medicine resident. "We have been best friends since second grade, and I was lucky to be a part of his adventures."

The son of Jeffrey S. Snodgrass, a business consultant, and Patricia L. Snodgrass, a program director at Lockheed Martin, Philip Donges Snodgrass was born in Towson and spent his early years in Stoneleigh before moving with his family to Baldwin in 1994.

"Phil was the nicest little boy and kid who loved being a Boy Scout, his school, his family and friends. He loved studying politics and history, and his heroes were Thomas Jefferson and Joe Biden, who he thought was just the coolest guy," said his father.


Mr. Snodgrass attended Cockeysville Middle School, where he played trombone and was a member of the jazz band, and was a 2005 graduate of Dulaney High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and Model United Nations, and was a founder of the school's History Club.

"Phil was extremely bright, and I taught him two AP courses in American and European history. I was devastated when I heard the news," said John A. Wagner of Bel Air, who has been on the faculty at Dulaney for 19 years. "He had a dry sense of humor and was quietly funny, and was always involved and on-point. Phil always made appropriate comments that were both thoughtful and funny."

He studied at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he graduated in 2009 with a double major in political science and history, and minors in Spanish, Dutch and Western European studies.

Mr. Snodgrass earned a law degree in 2012 from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and then joined the National Federation of Employees. At the time of his death, he was a master's candidate in international economic and business law at the Georgetown law school.

"He took up Dutch and became proficient in the language and was certified by the Dutch government," said his father. "His goal was one day to practice international law and perhaps even be a part of the International Court of Justice at The Hague because he valued social justice and peace."

"He put his heart into things, and when he set his mind to something, he did it," said Mr. Paetow.


"He was incredibly self-possessed, confident, driven and focused," said a sister, Grace E. Snodgrass of Santa Monica, Calif. "He was a news junkie who loved to discuss and opine on current events."

Sarah Neely, a classmate of Mr. Snodgrass' at IU, works in Washington as an international development contractor. "Phil was a rare and special friend who always nudged me to be my best self, to keep reaching for my full potential," said Ms. Neely, who first became acquainted with Mr. Snodgrass in 2006.

"Pursuing his Master of Law degree is a reflection of that same attitude applied to his own life. I might tell him what I was going through personally or professionally, and if he thought I could do more or do better, he would let me know," she said.

"It takes a true friend to not only act caring, but to provide an honest outside perspective with a healthy dash of humor. That's true caring. Phil was the type of person that you start calling a friend and you come to consider family," said Ms. Neely, who often lunched with Mr. Snodgrass at a favorite cafeteria in Washington.

"He was friendly, outgoing and full of positive energy," said Mr. Paetow, who had just celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans with Mr. Snodgrass. "Everywhere we'd go, everyone wanted to be with Phil. He was such a likable person."

Mr. Snodgrass and Emily Mnichowski, another IU classmate, were roommates for two years in Washington, where they enjoyed unwinding after work, cooking dinner, and sharing good times.

"One of our favorite pastimes was visiting museums and exploring D.C.," said Ms. Mnichowski, an event planner. "For fun, we used to rate the men in the paintings in the National Gallery of Art and joke whether we would date them."

College friends recall that Mr. Snodgrass, who had a fecund mind and multiple interests, became interested in birds and took as many courses as possible on the subject during his days at IU.

Gifted with movie star good looks and a stylish dresser, Mr. Snodgrass could "pull off an impeccable Ralph Lauren, Connecticut-casual look," said Ms. Snodgrass.

"Phil was hilarious and kind and incredibly loving to his family, even when he thought we were crazy," said his sister. "He had a joy for life that shone through in everything he did."

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Chestnut Grove Presbyterian Church, 3701 Sweet Air Road, Phoenix, Baltimore County.

In addition to his father and sister, Mr. Snodgrass is survived by his mother; another sister, Hope A. Snodgrass of Bloomington, Ind.; aunts, uncles and many cousins.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.